The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training, Ms Connie September, has said the committee will invite students to indicate what their concerns are during the registration period.

“They are an important stakeholder and the committee has been working on a joint programme with the students to ensure that the implementation of free education for the poor and working class benefits the students and their communities.”

“The committee wants to see a smooth and peaceful start to 2019, where students will not be bothered by anything other than registering and getting started with the first term,” Ms September said.

The official term for 2019 begins in the first week of February and institutions will be asked whether they are achieving the throughput as envisaged in the National Development Plan.

“The focus of all student leaders should be on advancing the higher education sector for the benefit of all, especially poor students. Student leaders need to be talking about how they hope to assist universities resolve such challenges as student accommodation and waiting lists, and in this way help institutions realise smooth and successful registration.”

She said the threats of violence over registration are despicable and unwarranted. “Constructive engagements are needed to make sure that issues are attended to and that the majority of students are able to access university places and funding.”

The committee will over the next few weeks monitor the registration proces at many universities and colleges.

Ms September said the committee supports the efforts of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme Administrator in ensuring that students do not face the same problems as in the past, such as late and failed applications from qualifying students.

The committee welcomes all new students to colleges and universities, and trusts they will continue developing their skills towards a brighter future.

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